Overwintering Pond Plants

Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
154
Reaction score
109
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
I am in Michigan where it drops below zero degrees through winter. I have a few pond plants I’d like to bring inside and try to save for next year. It’s not that they’re expensive to repurchase but they are incredibly hard to find around here! I like to have 1/3 of my pond covered in plants and trying to locate them has proven to be a big pain. I currently have some water lettuce, water hyacinth, and rain lily plants that will not survive winter. Any helpful tips on how to keep them inside for a few months! Thanks!
 
A

Advertising

Joined
May 21, 2018
Messages
323
Reaction score
271
Country
I am in Michigan where it drops below zero degrees through winter. I have a few pond plants I’d like to bring inside and try to save for next year. It’s not that they’re expensive to repurchase but they are incredibly hard to find around here! I like to have 1/3 of my pond covered in plants and trying to locate them has proven to be a big pain. I currently have some water lettuce, water hyacinth, and rain lily plants that will not survive winter. Any helpful tips on how to keep them inside for a few months! Thanks!
Hi Angela, I have successfully overwintered pond plants for the same reasons you state.
There are two surefire ways to keep water hyacinth. One is for just maintaining what you have the other is for propagation. Both use a ten-gallon aquarium or clear container.
Maintenance: south or west window location, warm water (about 80 F constant...not cold at night) supplemental lighting during short photoperiod of December - February. Misting twice daily is important. The plants will typically get smaller which is no problem but watch for signs of decay like yellow or gooey leaves. In that case, you might need to add a small amount of aquarium plant fertilizer or increase light intensity.
Propagation: same conditions as above but add a three inch layer of fresh potting soil to the tank and keep the water level so that the plants roots extend to the soil. You will need intense lighting and supplemental fertilizer. I put a diluted solution of plant fertilizer in a spray bottle and mist the plants. They really like that.
Water lettuce can be kept going by floating it in an extremely brightly illuminated aquarium. I use a block of styrofoam the width of the tank to keep the water lettuce directly under the light. The filter current will otherwise push the plant into a dimly lit corner. First, cut a hole in the middle of the styrofoam and wedge it between the tank’s sides. Drop the water lettuce in the hole. Mist the plant twice daily.
The most important part of overwintering your floating plants is careful reintroduction into the pond. This is where most failures occur. The plants don’t like cold water so make sure your pond water is warm. I recommend 70 F. And most importantly, slowly acclimate them to the sunshine. Introduction to bright sunlight without a gentle acclimation will kill them for certain. Sorry for the long answer (that’s what you get from a retired columnist :) ) but the above works. Good luck.
Stephen
 
A

Advertising

Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
7,022
Reaction score
7,900
Location
Northern IL
Great answer @Stephen Noble!

@AngelaM - I think the two most important parts of the equation are light and heat. Water lettuce and water hyacinth do best when the water is warm in the long, hot, sunny days. If you can replicate that, you'll be successful.

Both of these plants are slowly being banned for sale in the midwest - have they been banned in Michigan?
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,514
Reaction score
14,519
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
I use a stock tank and a fish tank and a aerator from walmart and a grow light bulb and been doing this for over 8 years now and even last year the reseeded onto my lily plant root ball .
100_4521.JPG
100_4520.JPG
 

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
9,803
Reaction score
5,614
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
As @Lisak1 brought up, these plants are illegal for sale in many areas, in Louisiana and most of the Southern, coastal states for example, and for that reason alone it would be nice to be able to overwinter them. But I have read where lots and lots of people have tried but failed — many more failures than successes. There is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t try it, though. Of the success stories, those people usually had a “greenhouse” type set up, usually in a basement (I’m jealous as we don’t have those in LA). I think air temperature and humidity are equal factors along with water temp. and lighting. I didn’t keep WH this year, but when I have, I’ve noticed a decline starting around this time of year. My guess is that’s due to lighting.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

sissy

sissy
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
31,514
Reaction score
14,519
Location
Axton virginia
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
if there is air stone in the water and light they can survive .I freshen my water by siphoning some out and putting in new and the grow LED bulbs are great compared to the old bulbs
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
154
Reaction score
109
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
if there is air stone in the water and light they can survive .I freshen my water by siphoning some out and putting in new and the grow LED bulbs are great compared to the old bulbs

Do you use the long shop lights or the big round ones?
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
154
Reaction score
109
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
Great answer @Stephen Noble!

@AngelaM - I think the two most important parts of the equation are light and heat. Water lettuce and water hyacinth do best when the water is warm in the long, hot, sunny days. If you can replicate that, you'll be successful.

Both of these plants are slowly being banned for sale in the midwest - have they been banned in Michigan?

No they’re not banned in Michigan. I purchased both from greenhouses but they were over two hours away from me. I just don’t want to have to drive two hours next year for pond plants.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
7,022
Reaction score
7,900
Location
Northern IL
I purchased both from greenhouses but they were over two hours away from me. I just don’t want to have to drive two hours next year for pond plants.
Gotcha! They sell them everywhere near me - even nurseries that don't supply pond plants have them in their little fountain displays. But you can't buy them in WI or, soon I hear, in Chicago. We will see! It's silly because there's literally no chance they could survive and move into natural waterways here.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
154
Reaction score
109
Location
Michigan
Hardiness Zone
6
Country
Gotcha! They sell them everywhere near me - even nurseries that don't supply pond plants have them in their little fountain displays. But you can't buy them in WI or, soon I hear, in Chicago. We will see! It's silly because there's literally no chance they could survive and move into natural waterways here.
Yes that’s very odd! I wonder what the reasoning is.
 

mrsclem

mrsclem
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
2,631
Reaction score
2,329
Location
st. mary's county, md.
Hardiness Zone
7A
Country
I just got my 29 gallon aquarium cleaned out from raising monarch butterflies so it will now be used to try to over winter my 2 tropical night blooming lilies. Its directly in front of a west facing window but that room stays fairly cool so hoping they will be somewhat dormant and not try to escape the tank.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Country
I am in Michigan where it drops below zero degrees through winter. I have a few pond plants I’d like to bring inside and try to save for next year. It’s not that they’re expensive to repurchase but they are incredibly hard to find around here! I like to have 1/3 of my pond covered in plants and trying to locate them has proven to be a big pain. I currently have some water lettuce, water hyacinth, and rain lily plants that will not survive winter. Any helpful tips on how to keep them inside for a few months! Thanks!
I too live in Michigan and have installed a pond in my basement with lights to remove plants and overwinter in our cold climate. The water hyacinths made it through 2 winters in my 55 degree basement under LED growlights!!! Here’s a picture of my setup
 

Attachments

Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Country
8F95303C-9E1C-4354-B6DC-355E24619F3F.jpeg
I am in Michigan where it drops below zero degrees through winter. I have a few pond plants I’d like to bring inside and try to save for next year. It’s not that they’re expensive to repurchase but they are incredibly hard to find around here! I like to have 1/3 of my pond covered in plants and trying to locate them has proven to be a big pain. I currently have some water lettuce, water hyacinth, and rain lily plants that will not survive winter. Any helpful tips on how to keep them inside for a few months! Thanks!
Here’s a pic with the lights out because the other one is hard to make out anything!!
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Country
Do you heat the water or use an air stone?
I don’t heat the water. The basement stays around 55 degrees all winter. There is aluminum foil all around the indoor pond to reflect the light around. I do have a small fountain pump that just pushes the water up into the air to get more oxygen in the water & keep it fresh. I am amazed how fast it evaporates
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Country
I don’t heat the water. The basement stays around 55 degrees all winter. There is aluminum foil all around the indoor pond to reflect the light around. I do have a small fountain pump that just pushes the water up into the air to get more oxygen in the water & keep it fresh. I am amazed how fast it evaporates
My lighting is seven 17 watt led lights that you can see in the picture I got them from Amazon will post a pic of the ones I bought
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
11
Reaction score
7
Country
73210CC1-5CF5-443E-B520-19C8E4B1CD63.png
My lighting is seven 17 watt led lights that you can see in the picture I got them from Amazon will post a pic of the ones I bought
Oops. It’s 12 watts and unfortunately currently unavailable but possibly could be purchased elsewhere
 
A

Advertising

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top